I sat down, put some ice on the back of my neck, and wondered why I put myself through it. Dressage is hard work for the rider and the horse. The key is to make it look easy. Sometimes I succeed, and other times I struggle. It's never something that once you get it, you're perfect. Working with an animal has its share of unpredictability. And, then there's my body. Some days it cooperates, and others not so much.
After I got home, I found the answer to why I put myself through it. I posted it above. That's us this past Saturday at El Sueno Equestrian Center. Okido was so amazing, obedient, and elegant. Yes, he's still a puppy and has so much to learn, as do I, but I couldn't ask for a better dance partner.
A year ago, I wouldn't have believed it. A year ago I lost my best buddy, Aramis, just one month before his 17th birthday. My world came crashing down. Not because I had lost my competition horse, but because my partner and friend had suddenly and unexpectedly passed on.
We lose our beloved animals far too quickly. All of us know that. It's just one of those painful facts. I thought I'd never find another to compare to Aramis. I struggled just to move through the days without going out to the barn to hang with him, ride him, lesson with him. Pam, my trainer, had me ride several different horses to keep me going, but it wasn't the same.
It wasn't the same until I saw photos and a video of Okido I.T He took my breath away. He took Pam's breath away. We couldn't wait to meet him. But wait... he's only four years old.I'd have to go from showing Third Level back down to the beginning again. We both acknowledged that wouldn't be a bad thing, and so he became my new friend and partner.
In training only six months with Pam, he is doing great. Right now, for me, the levels and scores don't matter. What matters is the joy i feel when I see him. What matters is the training and what we are learning. What matters is the relationship. It's about being strong enough to ride through all the pain and come out on the other side.
A friend of mine told me that she loved to see me having so much fun at the show. I reminded myself of that this morning. And, I finally realized that it's the journey that truly matters... not the outcome. Don't get me wrong! The outcome with Okido is great... but what matters is our journey together and what we teach each other along the way.
That's what friendship should be.
Til Next Time,